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The Rhode Island Uniform Parentage Act: What You Need to Know Before January 1, 2021

Quick Answers for LGBTQ Parents

When does the Rhode Island Uniform Parentage Act (RIUPA) go into effect?

The RIUPA goes into effect January 1, 2021.

What does the RIUPA do?

The RIUPA creates clear and accessible methods for establishing  legal parentage of children in Rhode Island, which is particularly important for LGBTQ parents who often welcome children born through assisted reproduction.

Importantly, for children born through assisted reproduction, the RIUPA ensures that parentage can be established easily after birth. The RIUPA makes available a simple administrative form, called a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage (VAP) to establish legal parentage. The VAP requires the consent and signatures of the birth and non-birth parents, and affirms that both agree they are the legal parents of the child and that there are no other competing claims to parentage.

The VAP can be completed in the hospital at birth, or at a later date, and functions as a decree of parentage that should be recognized in in Rhode Island and beyond.

For specific information about the RIUPA’s protections for children, read our full FAQ.

What if I/we are expecting a child before January 1, 2021?

If you are expecting a child before January 1, 2021, you will still be able to complete a VAP to establish your legal parentage once the new law goes into effect.

Currently in Rhode Island, LGBTQ parents can establish parentage through adoption or through a de facto parent action.  For information or referrals to lawyers to consult on what option is best for your family, contact GLAD Answers.

What if I/we already have a child or children but haven’t undergone a co-parent adoption? Can we still use a VAP to ensure we are both legally parents?

Yes. If you currently have a child or children, you can still sign a VAP when the law goes into effect in January. While the VAP can be completed at birth, it can also be completed after birth.

What if I/we are already in the process of completing a co-parent adoption?

If you are already in the process of completing a co-parent adoption, consult with your attorney on the new law and what next steps make sense for your family.

For more information about RIUPA and its implications, see this FAQ page.

If you have specific questions, contact GLAD Answers for additional information or lawyer referrals.